The Crown’s Josh O’Connor has indicated series four of the acclaimed drama will portray the Prince of Wales in a harsher light than the previous season.
O’Connor plays Charles in season three of the Netflix show and so far viewers have watched a nervous heir to the throne struggling to step out of the shadow of the royal family.
One episode explores the beginnings of a love triangle between Charles and his future wife Camilla Shand and her boyfriend Andrew Parker Bowles.
While the prince’s portrayal has so far been sympathetic, season four, which is roughly midway through filming, will deal with the Diana years and O’Connor has hinted Charles will be placed under more scrutiny.
Speaking at the Bafta Tea Party event in Los Angeles, he told the PA news agency: “Well, it’s the Diana years so we know that period so well. And in terms of Charles himself, if series three was to make people feel empathy and sorry for him, I guess we’re going to pull the rug from under him in the next series.”
O’Connor, 29, added that while he has not had any feedback from any of the royals since starring in The Crown, he would expect it to be positive from Charles.
“It would have to be good,” he said. “Because let’s face it, we’re really nice about him.
“Next series maybe not so much, but series three we’ve been pretty cool to him so, I mean he’s got to get on board with it.”
Series three of the The Crown stars Olivia Colman as the Queen, Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.
It bagged four nominations at the Golden Globes – including for best TV drama and acting nods for Colman, Menzies and Bonham Carter.
O’Connor, whose acting credits include 2017 drama God’s Own Country, said starring in The Crown had not stopped him from being a republican.
Asked if the show had changed his attitudes towards the royals, he said: “Yes and no. On a human, personal level, it definitely does.
“I’m still a republican. I can’t really imagine that necessarily changing but I feel real sympathy for them as individuals and that’s what The Crown is about.
“And ultimately this is drama, it’s fiction, it’s not the reality. But yes, I’m still a republican.”
The Crown is streaming on Netflix now.